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Science ministry calls for partnership with UKAID- Africa on STI





Abuja, Nov. 21, 2019 ( NAN) The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, has called for stronger partnership between the Ministry and UKAID-Africa to boost knowledge in transfer of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI).

The Minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr Burris Nabasu, made the call when he received a delegation of UKAID UK-Africa Science Partnership in the Ministry in Abuja on Thursday.

The minister said that Federal Government’s determination to lift more than 100 million people out of poverty,in the next 10 years could only be realised through the platform of science and technology.

He also said that inputs of UK-Aid was crucial to the realisation of such objective.

Onu, who said government initiated major policies in Science, Technology and Innovation to help drive economic diversification of the country appealed to the organisation to assist in the area of their implementation.

“We are not short of capacity but it is the implementation of such capacity,“ he said.

He disclosed that Nigeria could not achieve meaningful progress unless the tools of STI were put to good use.

The minister commended the organisation for using technology to improve the fortunes of the ordinary citizens of Nigeria.

Earlier, the Head of UKAID, UK-AFRICA, West African Team leader, Leanne Jones, said the objective of the meeting was to support and partner with countries such as Nigeria to harness science and technology for improved economic opportunities.

The head of the team said UK would deploy technology, to address poverty reduction employ digital technologies to expand broadband and internet options in Nigeria.

Dr Nee-Joo Teu, the Head of the UK Knowledge Transfer Technology, said partnership with the federal government was essential to build suitable technological models for Nigeria.

According to Teu, technological models will be friendly to the Eco-system and eventually grow Nigeria’s economy.

Edited by Modupe Adeloye/Dada Ahmed (NAN)

Science & Technology

Foundation trains handlers on proper e-waste management



The President, E-Waste Relief Foundation (ERF), Mr Ifeanyi Ochonogor, on Friday said the Foundation would ensure computers and allied products dealers and handlers, were educated on dangers of improper handling of e-waste.

Ochonogor said this at the 2nd edition of Lagos E-Waste Handlers Capacity Enhancement Programme (LEHCEP 2), aimed at training informal waste handlers in Computer Village and those in Olusosun Dumpsite in Lagos.

According to him, the Foundation is trying to educate and create awareness of the dangers of e-waste handling by the informal handlers since there is no NGO dedicated to such crisis.

“We chose to come to Computer Village, the heart of the ICT market in Nigeria and Lagos in particular, because of the number of electronics that passed through the hub.

“When we looked at e-waste that passed through the hub, it was crisis and that was why we chose here so that it would have the best impact in going forward next year,” he said.

He, however, commended the government for the implementation and enforcement of e-waste for Business-to-Business (B2B) through its environmental agencies.

Ochonogor said that the Foundation was complementing government’s effort by creating awareness for the masses on proper handling of e-waste and not taking away their livelihood.

He said that the Foundation would also partner with Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria (CAPDAN) to train and sensitise e-waste handlers on proper and safe handling.

Prof. Oladele Osibanjo, President, Waste Management Society of Nigeria (WAMASON), said that the programme had enabled the participants to be exposed to the dangers of improper handling of e-waste.

Osibanjo said that the e-waste handlers had been exposed to the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as nose mask, which ensured that they remained healthy as they picked them.

”We want them to live a decent life and enjoy the fruit of technology.

“It is a business the handlers found themselves in without understanding the dangers of it and no clue about health and environmental issues.

“I will like to commend the president of the Foundation for going into the Computer Village, the hub of technology, to create the awareness on proper handling of e-waste,” he said.

Osibanjo said that it would be unforgivable if the Foundation failed to extend its knowledge on dangers of improper handling of e-waste and did not impact such knowledge to those who did not know about it.

He said that the Foundation’s partnership with the electronic dealers should be supported as it would provide avenue for many people to join in the training of proper handling of e-waste.

According to him, Nigeria produces 1.1 tonnes of e-waste which can be a small gold mine and provide employment for young graduates if properly harnessed.

Osibanjo said that there were many dangers in managing e-waste, saying that it was time Nigerians paid attention to the environment.

Aliu Usman, Garage Chairman, Olusosun Dumpsite E-waste handlers, said that the training had exposed the handlers to the dangers of improper management of e-waste and how to prevent being exposed to its numerous health hazards.

Usman appealed to the government to do more by encouraging the Foundation to train and sensitise the handlers on proper management of e-waste.

Edited & Vetted By: Chidinma Agu/Adeleye Ajayi




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Lagos govt. releases N250m to boost science, technology research



The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said on Thursday that N250 million had been released as seed money to the State Science Research and Innovation Fund.

Sanwo-Olu spoke while declaring open a 2-day Art of Technology Lagos 1.0 (AOT Lagos.) conference, in Victoria Island.

The conference, with the theme: “Bridging the Gap’’, was organised by Eko Innovation Centre and sponsored by First City Monument Bank, Microsoft, Malta Guinness, Oracle, among others.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the Lagos State Government is bridging the gap between government and the technology ecosystem through the launch of the Art of Technology.

Sanwo-Olu said that the fund was for research and development in science and technology across different thematic areas in the state.

The governor said that the fund, to be managed by the Lagos State Science, Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC), was to research and develop areas like Artificial Intelligence (AI) to robotics, health informatics and green energy.

According to him, the Council will direct funds to solve issues of national significance through science and technology research.

The governor said it was a platform on which the future of Lagos State as a smart city would be unravelled.

”At the inception of our administration, we had a vision of growing Lagos State with a population above 20 million from a mega city to a smart city, equipped with infrastructure and facilities that work seamlessly to enhance life experiences.

”Our dream and vision of transforming the landscape in Lagos State was anchored on the pillars of our administration’s ”T.H.EM.E.S” philosophy to tackle perceived challenges.

”It is instructive to note that technology has redefined the way we live and think. Indeed, it is the bedrock of social integration and harmony because of its multiple applications to solve or enhance the art of living itself.

”We are prepared to provide Lagosians with the opportunity to connect on the global stage.”

“We cannot disaffirm the intractable challenges we face as a state. With a population of about 22 million and a crumbling infrastructure, new sustainable methods of transportation and infrastructure deployment must be formulated to keep up with the population growth.

”The use of artificial intelligence to predict movement of human resources and materials and reverse environmental degradation are critical solutions we need to adopt,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu said that the state’s challenges put it in a unique position to engineer not just its own solutions but solutions for the world at large.

”In view of these and other issues, our administration is committed to releasing and turbo charging our nascent problem solving potential through innovations in science and technology,” he said.

Highpoint of the event was the launch of the ”Innovation Master Plan” by the governor, aimed at highlighting the government’s critical focus areas that will unleash a culture of problem solving.

Sanwo-Olu said that the plan addressed the four main pillars that were required to enable a vibrant innovation ecosystem, namely: Access, Talent, Infrastructure and Funding.

According to him, with the administration’s activities in these four main areas, the innovation ecosystem is sure to receive the needed boost to raise its contribution to the state’s economy.

”There is no gainsaying the fact that any society that wants to be reckoned with on the global stage must be grounded in the application of technology to growth and development.

”It is, also, gratifying to note that the world has accepted that Lagos State is the ”Silicon Valley” of the African Continent, with major investments by Microsoft and Google in the Ikeja based ”Computer Village” and emerging tech hubs, which have served as launch pads for the digital careers of numerous youths as software developers.

”We have provided more opportunities for our children in the public primary and secondary schools to acquire ICT knowledge through exposure to Coding.”

”There are many opportunities available for the development of software that can transform the way we see, do or think about life activities.

”Art of Technology 1.0 will open the window for ideas, concepts and principles buried in the creative recesses of our people to break out and transform the landscape.

”It is our goal to foster the gains achieved by the Art of Technology 1.0 to enhance and empower the residents and investors in Lagos, the obvious and preferred location of first choice,” Sanwo-Olu said.

The Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mr Hakeem Fahm,  in his address, unfolded more of the state government’s plans in the state.

“The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, is embarking on a journey to provide 6,000 Kilometres of fiber connectivity in the state.

“Three thousand in 2020 and 3,000 in 2021, in addition to that, he is providing 2, 000 high definition cameras so as to accomplish a safe city initiative and e-governance.

“Pooling all these together will give us smart mobility, healthcare, education, grid and smart energy, smart home, use of internet things and smart relay.

“So, we need a sustainable framework to do this,’’ the commissioner said.

Fahm said that in Smart Lagos, transformation would be seen in key domains such as health, transport, urban solutions, safety and education.

The commissioner said that the state would be safer, more comfortable and more sustainable with the use of sensors, monitoring cameras and smart systems.

Earlier, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Innovation and Technology, Mr Olatunbosun Alake, said the AOT was an innovation, ecosystem catalysing event that the government was bringing to the people.

“The Art of Technology Lagos 1.0 is an innovation, an ecosystem catalysing event in which the government wants to bring everybody together in an ecosystem.

“Let us make these catalysing connections where funders can meet creators, incubators can meet people with ideas and let’s make all of that work in a serious poll such that the government has support.

“That is what this event is all about,’’ Alake said

NAN reports that AOT Lagos 1.0 brought together 2,000 tech giants, policy makers, government officials, software engineers/programmers, etc., to drive innovations that would pave way for the evolution of a smarter, digital, more efficient and more competitive Lagos State.


Edited & Vetted By: Oluyinka Fadare/Oluwole Sogunle







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CPAN seeks financial opportunities for members, digital entrepreneurs



The Computer-Based Test Centres Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (CPAN) on Thursday said it would empower its members and digital entrepreneurs by partnering with other groups to create financial opportunities.

The President of CPAN, Mr Maxwell Akwuruoha, made this known at a seminar/workshop held in Lagos.

Akwuruoha said that the CBT centres could be empowered through the partnership with ‘One Network’ by registering Nigerians for the National Identity Number (NIN) and helping to achieve the registration of all Nigerians in 2020.

According to him, it was as a result of desperation that most digital entrepreneurs who were graduates involved in examination malpractices.

”With such opportunities of making extra income legitimately, it will reduce the examination malpractices among the CBT centres.

”The centres will also serve Financial Technology (Fintech) agents, through Pay Attitude.

”The centres will be providing financial services to the under-served and creating income for themselves as well,’’ Akwuruoha said.

He said that most of the Computer-Based Test (CBT) centres were not properly compensated by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) after the CBT examination.

He said that as such, most of the centres were under-funded and running into debt and could give in to examination malpractices.

Akwuruoha said that the association would also be partnering with Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria to help accredit those who would be trained on coding by the centres.

According to him, most students were not exposed to computer and through such training they will be empowered by the training given at the computer centres.

He said that the empowerment of students would also boost the income of the CBT centres.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that CPAN plans more seminars and workshops in January.

Edited & Vetted By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Adeleye Ajayi

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YouTube celebrates top trending videos in Nigeria



YouTube on Thursday released YouTube Rewind, to celebrate the biggest moments and trending videos on YouTube in 2019.

Mr Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade, Communication Officer  and Public Affairs Manager for Google West Africa, said in Lagos that the top trending videos in Nigeria for 2019 reflected the nation’s love of sports and entertainment.

Kola-Ogunlade said that the top three trending videos in Nigeria were Commander by Mark Angel Comedy; Aiyetoro Episode 1 by SCENEONE TV; and UEFA Champions League – Liverpool vs Barcelona highlights by SuperSport.

He said that beyond the affinity for entertainment and sports, the 2019 list also revealed that Nigerians were turning to YouTube to keep up with trending news stories.

”The BBC Africa Documentary – Sex for Grades undercover  and Ynaija’s interview with celebrity Photographer, Busola Dakolo, made it as top trending videos.

”YouTube also released the list of top trending music videos for the year. Topping the list is the official video of Zlatan and Burna Boy – Killin Dem.

”The official Blow My Mind music video by Davido featuring Chris Brown and Rudeboys’ Reason With Me official video follow on the list, ’’ Kola-Ogunlade said in a statement.

According to him, the top trending videos on YouTube for 2019 were based on views, shares, comments, likes and more.

He said that YouTube Rewind brought together the biggest viral videos featuring today’s biggest YouTube stars, mainstream and current affairs personalities.

He said that YouTube’s Rewind video had taken on a fresh look and feel in 2019.

“Featuring a montage of clips from the top videos, channels and moments of the year as well as the latest release from Glass Animals, featuring artistes on the rise, Denzel Curry,’’ Kola-Ogunlade said.

He, however, said that the Top 15 Videos watched in Nigeria in 2019, excluding major music labels were Mark Angel Comedy – COMMANDER (Mark Angel Comedy) (Episode 193) Scene one TV, Aiyetoro Town Episode 1

He mentioned UPGRADE SuperSport – UEFA Champions League Liverpool vs Barcelona Highlights;

GhenGhen Jokes – INTERVIEW (ATIKU OR BUHARI), among others.

Kola-Ogunlade noted that the top 15 Music Videos watched by Nigerians included Zlatan featuring Burna Boy – Killin Dem (Official Music Video).

He also mentioned On A Spaceship Davido featuring Chris Brown – Blow My Mind (Official Video), Rudeboy – Reason With Me (Official Video), among others.

Edited & Vetted By: Adeleye Ajayi

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NIMASA donates computers, instructional materials to Kogi school



The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has donated computer hardware’s, textbooks and other instructional materials to Abdulazeez Atta Memorial College in Okene Local Government Area of Kogi.

Presenting the materials to the School Principal in Lokoja on Wednesday, Mrs Rosemary Osikoya,  Kogi Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, on behalf of the Governor, thanked NIMASA for the gesture.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the donation was done under the recently introduced School Based Management Committees (SBMCs) in every primary and Junior Secondary School in Nigeria by the Federal Government..

Osikoya that there were limited instructional learning and teaching aids in Kogi schools, but that the ministry had been able to identify the minimum requirements, which had been forwarded to the Gov. Yahaya Bello.

The commissioner added that the process of supplying those materials to schools were ongoing.

”We have also advocated stakeholders’ involvement, ownership and participation in assisting schools in form of old students’ associations, parents, communities, individuals and corporate organisations.

”What we are doing today is a welcome development about stakeholder’s responsiveness, because we are having positive responses from various stakeholders.

”So, we will like to appreciate NIMASA for donating learning and teaching materials to one of our schools in Kogi, Abdulazeez Atta Memorial College,” she said.

She added: ”I will like to congratulate His Excellency, Gov. Yahaya Bello, because Kogi is one of the first States to holistically adopt the implementation of the SBMC.

She further appealed to stakeholders for more support for Kogi education sector in adopting one or more schools, technical and vocational and also to support out of school children.

”When we all do that, the vision of the governor for ensuring that quality education becomes a norms in Kogi State would be achieved.

”We are also hopeful that Kogi state will be considered for the World Bank support for out of school children,” Osikoya said.

She noted that the ministry had also started ‘Performance Appraisal’ for all schools in the State, based on some key performance indicators as a way of motivating teachers and students.

Items donated includes 12 hp desktops computers with UPS, eight HP laptops with bags, textbooks for various subjects for Senior and Junior Secondary, and Primary School, exercise books, white boards, packets of pen, pencils, among others.

The School Principal, Mr Ajayi Umoru, on behalf of the school management and the students, thanked the donor for the gesture, while commending the commissioner and the governor for changing the narratives in education sector in the State.

Nigeria News Agency recalls that federal government recently introduced School Based Management Committees (SBMCs) in every primary and Junior Secondary School in Nigeria.

SBMC is a unique template which brings communities; parents, non-parents, teachers, artisans, school children and governments under one umbrella for synergy towards addressing challenges in the basic education sector particularly funding, infrastructure and service delivery rather than waiting solely on the government.

By this, communities automatically become stakeholders and actively participate in management of public schools in their environments in partnership with government for judicious and timely cogent actions.

SBMC was inaugurated in Kogi last month by the wife of the Governor, Hajia Rashidat Bello, aimed to create governance structure in all schools”.

Edited & Vetted By: Hawa Lawal and Abdullahi Yusuf

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Automobile expert solicits governments’ support for mass production 



Mr Ephraim Akwiwu, an Owerri-based automobile manufacturer, has solicited the support of the federal and state governments to enable him to go into mass production.

Akwiwu, who is the Chief Executive Officer, Ephraim and Joeana Akwiwu Auto Shop, Owerri, made the call in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in his office on Tuesday.

He expressed his readiness to deploy the skill he acquired in automobile manufacturing in Europe in ensuring human capital development in Nigeria and overall national economic growth.

He called on individuals, groups and government at all levels to patronise made in Nigeria goods as a way of providing moral, financial and logistics support to indigenous manufacturers.

He said: “I need patronage because whoever patronises me has supported me.

“My doors are open for business and I will welcome every form of support from government at all levels.”

Akwiwu identified irregular power supply as his major challenge, saying that the situation had grounded some of his equipment.

He said that his operation and prospects for expansion were impeded by the paucity of funds and lack of adequate space.

He said that his workshop had continued to provide a platform for the training of Industrial Training (IT) students, secondary school leavers and graduates.
He, therefore, urged the nation’s youths to endeavour to emulate his entrepreneurial efforts.

“I am willing to train more youths who are ready to grow their talents to fruition. That is my little  contribution to human capital development in our country,” Akwiwu said.

He said that he was mainly into maintenance and manufacture of automobile since 2011 and that he manufactured his second vehicle, called “the Combatant”, in 2017.

The automobile expert said that he participated in the 2019 Ondo Auto Rally, adding that his product was the only Nigerian car at the rally.

He said that the making of his third car, to be called “the celebrity”, was in progress.

Akwiwu said that his company was also into the manufacture of domestic equipment, such as kitchen furniture,  doors, windows and a solar powered mobile phone that could charge with unique features such as MP3 for entertainment and free Wi-Fi.

(Edited & Vetted By: Sam Oditah)

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